Thesis Statement Because everything you say in your essay must be logically related to your thesis, the thesis controls and directs the choices you make about the content of your essay. As your essay develops, so should your thesis. Don’t be afraid to modify your thesis to accommodate your changing essay.
3 Steps to developing a thesis 1.Determine a question that you are trying to answer in your essay. – Your 1-2 sentence response will create a tentative thesis. 2.Reword your thesis again by beginning with “What I want to say is that…” – Later, when you delete the cheesy opening, you will be left with a decent thesis statement. 3.Add the three main points that you want to make about your topic.
Sample Beginning Thesis Statements Each sentence below identifies the topic and makes an assertion about it. One of the most potent elements in body language is eye behavior Americans can be divided into three groups— smokers, nonsmokers, and that expanding pack of us who have quit. Over the past ten to fifteen years, it has become apparent that eating disorders have reached epidemic proportions among adolescents.
Utilize the outline form Create your topic sentences Add supporting evidence to each paragraph Add detail to each piece of supporting evidence Design intro and conclusion
Include detail in your body paragraphs Each detail should help create a picture for the reader. – “In the winter she sewed night after night, endlessly, begging cast-off clothing from relatives, ripping apart coats, dresses, blouses and trousers to remake them to fit her four daughters and son.”
TAKE A LOOK AT PP. 98-103 Which type of paragraph order works best for your essay?
How to structure the essay Different aspects of the experience Results of the experience Steps taken throughout the experience Different lessons learned because of the experience Examples building an understanding of the experience Etc.
Adding vivid descriptions It’s good to have personal examples within each paragraph to help illustrate your main point within that paragraph. Readers want to see and hear and feel events; you present an accurate picture of each event.
Maintain Clear Verb Tense Do not use unnecessary tense shifts. If you shift from past to present, do so intentionally and to create a specific effect. You can organize the essay in chronological order. You can move from general information to being more specific or least important to most important. Space order: Ex. When describing a house, describe from outside to inside or bottom to top.
Intro and Conclusion View pp. 51-53 – Which type of introduction works best for your essay? View pp. 54-55 – Which type of conclusion works best for your essay?
Types of Introductions Anecdote: Brief narrative drawn from current events, history, or your personal experience Analogy and Comparison: Gets readers to connect to a topic they might otherwise be unfamiliar with Dialogue/Quotation: Must be relevant, but can illustrate a particular attitude about your topic Facts and Statistics: this is mostly for argumentative essays Irony or Humor: this signals to the reader that the essay is going to be entertaining and may contain some unexpected illustrations Short Generalization: Basically background information about your topic Startling Claim: should be factual and unsettling Strong Proposition: mostly for persuasive essays Rhetorical Question: effective if applied directly to the topic
Intros to Avoid Apology – “I am a high school student and do not consider myself an expert on essay writing, but I’m going to try this anyway.” Complaint – “I’d rather write about a topic of my own choice than the that is assigned, but here it goes.” Webster’s Dictionary – “Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines perseverance as…” Platitude: a trite, meaningless, biased, or prosaic statement, often presented as if it were significant and original. – “America is the land of opportunity, and no one knows that better than Martha Stewart.” Reference to Title – “As you can see from my title, this essay is about why I can contribute to your university.”
Varying Sentence Structure and Length Having no variety to your sentence structure makes for a boring read, even for the most interesting of topics. Utilize the structure handout to determine what you need to do with your sentences within each paragraph.